In This Day and Stage: Fringe-Watching Sprint 2020 (chapter 1)

In This Day and Stage: Fringe-Watching Sprint 2020 is a blog section dedicated to Greta Zaltieri, our Admin & Marketing Intern. Intoxicated by her love for theatre (and the possibility to have free tickets for CPT shows), she is embarking on a quest to see seventeen SPRINT shows in three weeks. Will she succumb to the pressure (or the COVID19)? Only one way to find out!

In This Day and Stage: Fringe-Watching Sprint 2020

Chapter 1

Testing, 1, 2, 3…

Hi! I’m Greta and I’m the Admin & Marketing Intern at the Camden People’s Theatre.
Two things about me:
1) I swear a lot;
2) I have a dark sense of humour, the kind that provokes my friends’ hilarity (and disgust, and just a bit of judgement) when we play Cards Against Humanity. I always win, though, so bear with me.

This series of blogposts sparked from the realisation that, as part of the CPT team, I have free tickets to all shows – when I learned it, I was HYPED. So, here’s what I’ve done: with no regard whatsoever for my social life, my exams, and my cat’s wellbeing, I booked a shitload of tickets for SPRINT Festival and now I must share my experience or my brain might explode.

So, here’s the challenge: three weeks, seventeen shows. Keep it simple, few words, but don’t just talk about the SHOWS, talk about YOURSELF – e.g. why not telling amusing anecdotes about your country?

I’m from Italy – where exactly? Milan, home of the CoVid19©. (It’s called cruel irony, I won’t indulge on that).

Enough about me and more about SPRINT. Last Friday, I saw SWARM and Coming Out of My Cage (And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine). I couldn’t imagine two more different shows: it was like being kicked in the stomach really hard and then karaoked back into breathing.

Regarding Coming Out of My Cage, I have a confession; before seeing it, I had never heard ‘Mr. Brightside’. I know, I KNOW, who has never heard of the 19-years-on-UK-charts song? I’m Italian. Plus, I have a talent for discovering incredible things 10/20 years after everyone else – I’m never in touch with what’s contemporary (isn’t it amazing for someone pursuing a career in the arts?).

At the beginning of the show, Tim and Hannah asked: ‘Has anyone in the audience NEVER heard ‘Mr. Brightside?’.
I raised my hand and explained the situation, and everything was resolved.

Just kidding… I didn’t want to be put on the spot, so I looked around with an expression that (I hope) conveyed the message: ‘WhAAAt? WHO has never heard of ‘Mr. Brightside’? This is absurdddddddd’ (is this how young people talk nowadays? I’m 22, but 99 inside. My grandma is far younger – and cooler – than me. Why do I keep digressing? I’m blabbing my way into oblivion – and possibly into sacking? Can they sack me if they’re not paying me? Let’s move on).

Shepard’s Tone delivered a very good performance, well-timed, well-coordinated and most of all real adapt to put people together in a non-embarrassing way. I always appreciate not being weirded out, in theatre & in life, and two days later, I knew all the lyrics to Mr. Brightside – thank you, guys, it was a blast!

I left SWARM until last because I could probably write a whole other blog – with a completely different tone – about it. It was just great. Liv Ello is such a talented performer, and every other element of the production matched with the insanely high level of their rendition: it was urgent, painful, funny, one of those shows that makes you think we might actually deserve extinction. But also, perhaps, we deserve another chance as long as artists like Liv Ello are still on this planet making work.

About the blogger

Greta is a woman of many talents and few hopes. Her interest in theatre sparked when she was six years old and, from that moment, she hasn’t been able to stop loving the stage, backstage, box office, dressing rooms and all that jazz (!). When she’s not working as Admin & Marketing Intern at Camden People’s Theatre, you will find her obsessing over her dissertation (she is about to graduate in Drama, Theatre & Performance at the University of Roehampton) or chairing Students’ Union’s meetings. Already very, VERY, old inside, Greta doesn’t appear to have a social life. Or perhaps she’s just keeping it hidden…

LinkedIn: Greta Zaltieri